Anniversary of peace in Aceh

Jocelyn Ford Aug 15, 2006


MARK AUSTIN THOMAS: Today is a special day for Indonesia. It’s the first anniversary of the peace agreement between that nation and separatist rebels in Aceh. 10,000 people gathered in the Tsunami-damaged capital of Aceh to celebrate the end of the bloody 30-year conflict, but Jocelyn Ford says folks in the province also had some complaints.

JOCELYN FORD: The peace agreement reached after the 2004 Tsunami says the local Acehnese government controls natural resources like oil and gas.

It also says 70 percent of the income from those resources should go to the government in Aceh. But the central government in Jakarta has passed a law that doesn’t live up to those promises.

Damien Kingsbury is adviser to the Free Aceh Movement, known as GAM.

DAMIEN KINGSBURY:“The way the legislation was drafted, control resides with the government in Jakarta.”

And he says under the new law Aceh won’t be getting a full 70 percent of the income.

GAM is asking for the law to be amended. The Indonesian government is eager for multinationals to start producing more gas and oil from Aceh.

Indonesia is Southeast Asia’s biggest oil producer, but it recently started importing oil for the first time.

I’m Jocelyn Ford for Marketplace.

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